This Friday is definitely going to be one for the books. Not only is it the last Friday of the month, which means that it’s the time to link up with Carolann and Christy for the Beyond Words- A Bloggers Book Club, but Hurricane Harvey is rearing it’s ugly head and will definitely be hitting the Texas coast this weekend. Thankfully it’s not hitting Houston directly, but we are on the “dirty” side of the storm which means that we’ll be getting a whole heck of a lot of rain this weekend. So Chris and I are prepared to hunker down at the house all weekend and ride it out, and hopefully not get flooded in. But that’s neither here nor there because today we’re here to talk about our latest book club selection Beartown by Fredrik Backman.
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Beartown is a small town located in the middle of the woods. What started off as a small town that was growing with a factory has turned into a small town that is dying as businesses and people begin to move away. The town does have some hope though, the Juniors Hockey Team is competing in the semi-finals of the National Championship. If they win this game and win the finals, that could mean a fresh new start for the town. Future players will want to train in Beartown so a new ice rink will be built and potentially even a shopping mall, which could turn this dying town around.
But one fateful night between two teenagers can change all of that. That one night will divide the town and turn friend against friend and neighbor against neighbor and teammate against teammate, and completely change two teenager’s lives. While on the surface Beartown can be viewed as a book about a hockey town, it really is so much more. It really makes you ask the question of what truly is right and wrong.
I feel like this is one of those books that you really can’t say too much about it because you just don’t want to give too much away. I obviously went into this book with really high expectations because I love Fredrik Backman and everybody kept on raving about how great this book was, and I think that it really lived up to those expectations.
The one thing that really surprised me about this book was how quick everybody was to become a mob and completely turn their backs on their friends that had been around for years. What happened in the book that was the main catalyst for everything to change in the town was so serious, and it amazed me how quickly everybody was able to discount what had happened and blame the victim. I understand that as a mother you want to protect your child and their dreams and goals, but as a mother you’re also supposed to help guide your children and teach them what’s right and wrong. I guess that’s what everybody would say is wrong with our generation today, that we’re too focused on getting our way instead of what’s right and wrong.
While I did really enjoy this book, I don’t think that this is my favorite Backman that I’ve read so far, I think that I actually enjoyed A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry a lot more. I feel like the content of Beartown was a lot darker than his other books that I’ve read, and I felt like the the writing was a little more jolting than some of his other books. While it did still feel like a Fredrik Backman book, it almost felt a little all over the place. I think that he was trying to give you the feel of being in the hockey rink and in the hockey culture, but it just didn’t work for me, which is why I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
Anyways, if you haven’t had the chance to check out a Fredrik Backman book or you just haven’t picked this one up yet, definitely go and pick up Beartown as soon as you can. You won’t regret it, I promise, even if you don’t like hockey! Also make sure to join us next next month when we read One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This is my first TJR book, and I’m super excited!
Have you read Beartown? Did you enjoy it?